Former NDP MLA, Marty Dolin, is lobbying the Manitoba Government to provide health care for a US war resister currently living in Winnipeg.
Joshua Key, originally from Guthrie, Oklahoma, was trained as a US combat engineer and dispatched to Iraq in April 2003.
Key claims to have witnessed numerous instances of abuse of the Iraqi civilian population by US forces, which he says went unaddressed by commanding officers.
He fled the war for reasons of conscience at the end of 2003. With his then wife and children, he made his way to Canada in early 2005. He settled in Winnipeg where he sought and was denied refugee status in Canada.
Key got divorced, and then remarried a Canadian. Along with other Iraq War Resisters and deserters, he is ‘living in limbo’ waiting for deportation orders back to the US where he faces the prospect of dishonourable discharge and lengthy prison sentences for the crime of desertion.
Joshua Key is the author, along with Lawrence Hill (Book of Negroes) of The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier who Walked Away from the War in Iraq.
When the Canadian government announced last year it would be cutting back on health care for refugees, the Manitoba government said it would step in to provide these services.
However, because of his status, Key is not eligible for any healthcare. Former politician and community activist, Marty Dolin, talks to Dave Quanbury on the CKUW 95.9 FM show People of Interest, about Joshua Key, the American war resister currently living in Winnipeg.